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Japan and NRW: 25 years of commitment to a successful economic partnership

To mark the 25th anniversary of NRW Japan K.K., about 70 guests from business and politics met at the Industrieclub Düsseldorf.

The K.K. (Kabushiki Kaisha = stock corporation according to Japanese law) was founded in 1992 as the first foreign subsidiary of the state-owned economic development agency NRW.INVEST in Tokyo. The aim was and is to advise Japanese companies locating in North Rhine-Westphalia and to expand cooperation at an economic level, in industrial research and development as well as in science and research. "Japan and North Rhine-Westphalia have long-standing, close economic ties. The foundation of NRW Japan K.K. was a major step towards deepening our successful partnership," said Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Minister for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. "We should further intensify German-Japanese cooperation for the benefit of technological progress, especially on important future topics such as digitization, Industry 4.0, electric mobility, renewable energy and medical technology."

Over the past 25 years, NRW Japan K.K. has accompanied Japanese companies settling in North Rhine-Westphalia. Today, there are more than 600 Japanese companies based in NRW. These include renowned firms such as Asahi Kasai, Canon, Cyberdyne Care Robotics, Denso Automotive, Fujifilm, Hitachi, Makita, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, Nippon Express, Shiseido, Takasago, Toppan, Toshiba, Toyota and Yakult. "At that time, many Japanese companies wanted to venture into Europe. This was our chance to present the location in Japan and to advise and support Japanese companies directly on site. Today, North Rhine-Westphalia is the most important location for Japanese companies on the European mainland," explains Petra Wassner, CEO of NRW. INVEST. "The establishment of the Japanese business community is the result of many years of cooperation between numerous partners in Japan and NRW."